Kids Helping Kids, Inc.

Developing Leadership Through Youth-Led Service

aka Kids Helping Kids, Inc.   |   Stamford, CT   |  http://kidshelpingkidsct.org

Mission

Our mission is to develop leadership skills through youth led service projects. KHK empowers children to design and execute service projects that benefit their community. By doing so, youth involved with KHK develop valuable leadership skills and gain an empathetic understanding of their ability to make a positive impact in the world. Our program is open to students from all socio-economic backgrounds, because every child benefits from learning that they can make a difference.

Notes from the nonprofit

A few words from the CEO of a local shelter that we help, Jason Shaplen, CEO of Inspirica, shares why KHK is an organization that is worth your future investment. “What you have created with Kids Helping Kids is unlocking the DNA that they already have, that leadership skill, that ability to be an agent for change within that they already have, they just need someone to unlock it for them. You have a group of kids who come together to make an impact and they do that in so many different ways… If you've got $10,000 to spend on something or whatever it is you're thinking of doing, you're going to get a lot of bang for the buck with Kids Helping Kids. You're going to see a return on that investment that is many multiples higher than you would anywhere else. Please contact us at [email protected] or 203-884-1500 to arrange a meeting or attend any of our projects to see our team in action. Thank you in advance for your interest.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Jennifer Bentley

Main address

347 Stillwater Avenue

Stamford, CT 06902 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-1224284

NTEE code info

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

KHK works to address two needs: 1) essential life and leadership skills needed in today's youth and 2) the material and emotional needs of low-income or in-crisis youth in our community. KHK projects usually start with ideas that address the simple joys of being a kid (e.g. birthdays, shopping for a prom dress, learning a sport, playing with LEGOs) that are often not as accessible to kids in need. Projects also address immediate needs in the greater community (Fairfield County) such as hunger, clothing, and school supplies. Students build leadership and real-world life skills, such as confidence, resilience and problem-solving by initiating and launching projects that benefit local children.   These real-world skills are invaluable to their path of development; according to a recent PEW Research study that surveyed adults about which skills are most important for children in order to succeed, communication skills ranked the highest at 90%, outperforming both reading and math.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Birthday Bash

Billy and Jack Schulz, 5 & 6th graders at the time, reflected on their love of birthday parties and how lucky they were to always have a cake to eat and to celebrate with friends. Since November of 2009, KHK has partnered with Inspirica, a transitional housing shelter in Stamford, CT, in order to celebrate any child (ages 3-16) whose birthday falls within the quarter of months being recognized at the party. We sing songs, listen to music, play games, and eat pizza and cupcakes decorated by our volunteers in order to ensure that each and every child knows how special they truly are and that they matter to others. Every child in residence is invited to join in on our 90-minutes of non-stop fun. Once the party kicks off, each volunteer is busy engaging with the children through one-on-one play. KHK youth volunteers play a critical role in creating a welcoming, special celebration, making sure: the room is decorated; each child with a birthday in the quarter has a handmade birthday card to take home; there are enough games and activities to keep the children active and engaged, and lastly, that there is plenty of birthday party food for our guests!

Visit our website to see pictures and videos of our quarterly birthday bashes in action:
https://kidshelpingkidsct.org/birthday-bash/.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Children and youth

The Bread Bake is KHK’s longest running event and is our primary KHK fundraiser in order to help underserved children in our own Fairfield County communities through our various other projects. We started this endeavor eleven years ago, raising only $300 with our first attempt. However, each year as we continued to grow our efforts and raise additional funds, one kitchen was just too small. In 2012, Grade A ShopRite partnered with us and donated the use of its commercial bakery for the Bread Bake, which allowed KHK to bake and sell 1,500 loaves of bread, raising $15,000. During this transition, we also started selling breads to friends and family, not only for their own enjoyment, but also offering the ability to allow us to donate breads to those in need on their behalf. In 2016, we made 2,400 loaves and donated over 600 to families in need. This project requires a tremendous amount of team effort and over 75 KHK youth volunteers are involved in the baking, and many more in the marketing and selling portion of the event.

For more information and pictures of the event watch our 2016 Bread Bake Video!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RoUnd-0RWs.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Our annual “Gift of Giving” project started in 2013 when a team of 5th grade kids, led by Ethan Lange, talked about their love of getting and giving gifts around the holidays. This idea has now turned into our Annual Gift of Giving event. Every year KHK partners with dozens of local schools and businesses to collect thousands of new and gently used gifts for all ages in order to set up a one-day popup store for underserved children to come in and shop for their loved ones around the holiday season. The holidays can sometimes be a tense time for those with limited money to buy gifts for those in their life, however this project was created in order to give children the ability pick out gifts for their family members and wrap them in festive paper. In the beginning of December, we start to sort and organize the gifts at our collection site, The Salvation Army, and then set up the popup store around the first weekend of December at The Boys and Girls Club. In exchange for shopping tickets, our guests first spend time making Caring Cards for children in local hospitals. This portion of the event is important so that our guests know they do not need money to be able to help someone in need. Last year, we had over 500 guests. Over 50 KHK volunteers worked as personal shopping assistants for our guests and wrapped all of the gifts. The Gift of Giving is a magical event and thus far, over 3,500 families have benefited from this project.

To hear from some of our guests, please watch our posted videos at: https://kidshelpingkidsct.org/gift-of-giving/.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

KHK sets up collection containers for gently used books at various local sites. These books are then donated to schools and libraries in need. In the past KHK donated to build libraries in Stamford, New Orleans, and Zimbabwe. In 2013, with the help of five teen ambassadors and three adult facilitators, KHK partnered with the Yerwood Center in Stamford. KHK collected 34,500 donated books, and created a permanent Giving Library. A local school donated their used library bookshelves which were used to create the physical library. This library was created so that families can "own” books with no financial barrier. 110 youth volunteer for this 2-day event, which mainly consisted of sorting through and organizing the library, as well as helping the community pick out books.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Handled with Care Dress Boutique is an annual project that started in 2012 when Ally, 16, was shopping for a prom dress and realized how hard it must be for girls that did not have the ability to afford a new dress for this event. She really wanted to create a beautiful and dignified shopping experience for girls without any financial burden so they too could be excited to attend fancy events and be able to dress accordingly. This seed of an idea grew into the Annual Handled with Care Dress Boutique. Each spring we collect hundreds of new and gently worn party dresses and shoes of all sizes, jewelry, and accessories. In order to have a successful collection and make this event memorable, KHK partners with many schools and stores in the local community. After our collection, we spend time organizing all of our donations by size and color so that our guests have a true shopping experience. Our doors open for a one-day boutique and underserved students from schools in the local area are invited to shop and enjoy our beauty bonuses of the day, which include hair consultations, makeup applications, and a photo shoot for all of our guests. Last year, we were able to offer a self-esteem workshop as well. Before they enter the store, each guest is asked to make Caring Cards for children in local hospitals. To date, over 3,000 girls have danced the night away in Handled with Care Boutique outfits.

To view some of the previous photo shoots please visit:
https://kidshelpingkidsct.org/handled-with-care-boutique/.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Spark A Project is intended to get our volunteers and ambassadors’ feet wet by leading a small project so that they can start to grow that project into a larger project or take a lead on another project. This is important because KHK has identified that incredible learning takes place from leading a project. The learning portion of KHK is vital to our unique mission of developing leadership skills through youth-led service projects. Some of our most recent Spark A Project events are Launching Legos, Fun for Science, Sports Day, Skate for Success, Baking Buddies and more! Those who have interest in sparking a new project identify their passion and KHK will help them find a way to integrate it into the local underserved community. KHK aids in the process of pairing our Spark A Project ideas with our existing partnerships within the community.

To learn more about this initiative check out:
https://kidshelpingkidsct.org/spark-a-project-meeting/.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Awards

Partner Award 2017

Boys and Girls Club

Named Youth Outstanding Organization 2016

United Way

Affiliations & memberships

Boys and Girls Club of Stamford 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This measures the volunteer hours at the actual events and does not always include the hundreds of volunteer hours outside of the projects themselves.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Every project is youth inspired, developed, led and designed to directly impact underserved children. We are proud to collaborate with local nonprofits in the community to expand our reach.

Number of youth-led community service projects

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

All projects are inspired, planned and led by our youth. We have several annual events that our volunteers improve upon each year as well as exciting new ones driven by their passions and ideas.

Number of schools represented by youth volunteers since 2009

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are thrilled that our organization has grown to include students from so many different schools working together to make a positive impact in their communities!

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This represents the number of unique volunteers every year. Many of our volunteers help at numerous projects and some attend almost all of our projects.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In ten years, KHK has grown from 3 to nearly 5000 youth volunteers over the years, who develop and implement projects that benefit their community. Please go to our website, www.KidsHelpingKids.CT.org to see our impact.

Our vision is to expand our volunteers’ learning, discourse and responsibility around social issues they care about and to expand our reach, helping all kids realize their full potential as leaders and change-makers.

Our goals are:
1. Continue deepening our relationships with our nonprofit partners that serve the low-income community.

2. Develop and strengthen our leadership program and curriculum for our KHK youth volunteers.

3. Invest and expand our connections and outreach in order to attract youth to our program from a variety of socio economical areas.

4.Expand our relationships with businesses in the community. We recently moved into the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford to further develop our impact with under resourced children.

The specific tactics that KHK will use to achieve these goals include:

• Establish strong networks with local school systems.
• Continue to hold monthly orientation meetings to educate interested volunteers.
• Evaluate the feedback of every event/ ambassador meeting to hear what kids are saying and quickly adjust to changes.
• Track all hours and offer recommendation program when appropriate.
• Create intern program to give kids more experience.
• Engage local businesses in projects, as appropriate.
• Facilitate opportunities with corporate partners to partner where appropriate and have them help do leadership workshops.
• Establish and develop training modules for students.
• Design and implement training for adult facilitators.
• Launch fundraising activities that will successfully fund the expanding program.
• Have an elementary school feeder system.

We have developed a strong team of people that love what we do and they have helped foster an outstanding team of adult facilitators to support our hundreds of youth. Our board has helped KHK grow by engaging the people they know and the community to fund our programs.

The other programs we have in place to achieve this:

*Strong ambassador program and youth-led quarterly powerful meetings
*Monthly orientation meetings to allow kids and adults to learn about our KHK philosophy and allow them to see how they can get actively involved
*Constantly reflect and adjust what we are doing on all levels
*Check our strategic planning and review frequently
*Volunteer team that is dedicated to achieving our objectives
*Elementary program mentored by the senior ambassadors
*Tracking system so we can easy see what are youth are doing and how much time they are dedicating to service through Salesforce CRM
*System to track our student graduates and a Linked in alumni group
*Youth Advisory Council (YAC) that runs our ambassador meetings

Over 5,000 kids from 132 local schools have been involved with KHK.  Why?  Because there is nothing like it.  KHK gives students a voice, the tools, the belief in themselves and a path to take their power and positively impact others.

Have accomplished:
•Continue to track where graduates are going to college
•Survey to ask alumni about skills
•Track hours of current students
•Track how many students are lead ambassadors

We have not yet accomplished:
•Tracking the number of years students are with KHK
•Focus on low income kids to lead a project
•Track if graduates are in service related activities
•Track the number of years our students stay involved (should increase as we meet them in elementary school)
•Track how many orientation students convert into volunteers and ambassadors

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We give surveys to every person that attends any event or meeting we have ( orientation meeting, existing project, and even our board meetings ). We have shifted so many things based on the immediate feedback we obtain. We have shifted how our ambassador meetings are run based on the feedback from the youth participants asking for more skill development. Every meeting now includes a workshop on developing the skills they have identified they want to focus on ( from the feedback survey from the previous meeting). We have shifted our board meetings to ensure every committee has enough time to share their issues and get new ideas to move their projects forward. All of our projects have evolved based on incorporating the feedback from the volunteers and the recipients.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Kids Helping Kids, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Kids Helping Kids, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Charles Evangelakos

Pallas Capital Advisors

Term: 2012 -


Board co-chair

Brian O'Connor

Uncommon Goods

Term: 2017 -

Jennifer Kelley

Kids Helping Kids

Dominick Cingari

Grade A ShopRite

Richard Vogt

Vogt & Company, P.C.

Donna Volpitta

Center for Resilient Leadership

Marie Rocha

CEO/Co-Founder, Realist Ventures

Charles Evangelakos

Pallas Capital Advisors

Irene Eddy

Diane Urban

Brian O'Connor

Uncommon Goods

Judy Marzen

Brian Kluberdanz

Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky

Lee Allen adm group

CEO Americas

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/13/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/30/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.